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‘Degrade and destroy ISIS’, but no guarantee?

First, fire Secretary of State Chuck Hagel. He is a wobbler that America doesn’t need at the top of the Department of Defense. The President said that he wants the Islamic State degraded and destroyed. He didn’t say maybe. The trouble with this presidency is that it is too tentative and deliberate, and too full of fits and starts that enable enemies to take advantage.

Stop wobbling and buck up
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Hagel’s response was “degrade, destroy, but no guarantee;” you’re fired.

Embarking on battle in the Middle East once again requires comprehensive foreign policy that engages the free world collective to the fullest extent. Take no wobblers, and that applies to allies too. We need friends and no frenemies.

To engage the Middle East effectively requires that Saudi Arabia and Jordan get with the program along with Turkey and Egypt too. It is time to get off the fence. Governments in the Middle East need to embrace free world values for democracy and freedom. They will need assistance doing that because it will require fundamental cultural change and transformation. That requires an unprecedented partnership with the free world. Buck up.

For there to be a success in the Middle East, the huge problem of reconciling pluralism among disparate sects including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism among all others is on the table. In fact, the challenge is to present and embrace a model for governance that ensures equality for all people regardless of beliefs and gender. That will require significant upgrade of religions and governments in order to meet the standard for 21st century pluralism.

The carrot in the equation is sustainable economies. Everywhere, people need and want self-determination and self-sustainment. They want a healthy degree of opportunity that will permit them to maximize yield from their capabilities. They need and want upward mobility.

When the free world collective embraces the necessity to transform the world into sustainable economies, it will open opportunity for invention and innovation the likes the world has not seen at such scope and scale before. It is essential to reverse the trend toward collapsing economies that are based on unsustainable capitalism as we know it.

No fear, the future can be brighter for everyone.

One thing that must happen at once in the Obama administration, and that is that the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense need to be on the exact same page at all times. There needs to be complete integration of policy and strategy. It should not appear as a product of overnight afterthoughts. It must be engineered from sound leadership from the President acting in full collaboration with Congress and without excuses.

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